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For those of us who consider ourselves numismatists, or to put it more plainly, genuine, honest to goodness coin “collectors,” the volatile price of silver is incidental!

I am a world coin collector and several things have happened recently that are just infuriating!

At a local coin shop, as I was looking at dollars from China and Japan, the clerk said, “Wait a minute! Those are priced too low. Silver has gone way up since those were priced!”

I calmly said, “Yes, but for those of us who are coin collectors, not bullion collectors, the silver content of the coin isn’t nearly as important as whether or not we need the coin for our collection.”

She said, “Yeah, I’ve heard that coin collectors don’t care so much about that, but, if you don’t want those two coins, I’m going to re-price them before anyone else sees them.”

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Ironically, the coins were already priced correctly for what they were and for their condition. But, since they were both .900 silver, she indeed went to the backroom to re-price them according to that day’s melt value.

At a recent coin show, several world coin dealers had signs on their tables that said, in essence, “We reserve the right to alter the price of the coin as marked given the fluctuation in the silver market.”

I did not stop by either one of those tables and do not intend to in the future. And, here’s my point: When they put their signs up a week ago, silver was almost $50 an ounce. Great. But, yesterday, it was $33 an ounce.

Do you think those same two dealers are willing to put up new signs that say, “We reserve the right to lower the prices on the coins as marked given the fluctuation in the silver market.” Don’t think so!
So, in closing, at least for me, whether silver goes up to $100 an ounce, or, falls back to $8 an ounce, I will continue to purchase those world coins I need for collecting purposes regardless of where silver is that particular day.

I am giving the talk at our local coin club meeting later this month on world coin collecting and, believe me, I intend to stress that it isn’t about the silver (or even the gold). It’s about the coin!

This Viewpoint was written by Evelyn Powers, a hobbyist who is from Bloomington, Ind. Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to david.harper@fwmedia.com.

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